You don’t make a quality Thanksgiving turkey without a lot of patience and attention to detail. The same goes for an album, and the Long Distance Runners prove it with their carefully crafted October release, Elements. It knocks the socks off their 2010 debut, and that’s arguably the point of a new rock and roll album.

Untitled-2What stands out the most is the patience and execution in the moulding of song structures on the album.  Elements is a carefully crafted and sophisticated exploration of rock and roll. Flourishes of everything from flutes to brass fill and build the songs to create a solid, satisfying album displaying noteworthy diversity track to track.

There’s even thought gone into the cover art: inside the album, a panel of film-looking plastic awaits you – it you run it across the album art, the album art comes to life.

A press release from their publicist at Pigeon Row draws comparison to the “breathiness of Tame Impala and the rootsiness of Wilco,” and they’re not bad comparisons. The album sounds elemental, big, and bold.

It kicks off with “The One,” a song so huge and orchestral it demands you give the album the careful, engaged listen it deserves.  Track 2 – the album’s 1st single, “You Gotta Remind Me” – lives up to the big, full sound of its predecessor, sharing its controlled intensity and adding an effective dose of accessible psych-tinged rock.


Track 3, “Pulling It Together,” is another great spin on rock, with the pounding drums cranked to the fore, and a truly killer grade-A chorus.

The production value on this record elevates the music to heights many local releases fail to reach, as the sheer quality of these recordings demand your attention take note of how utterly un-lazy the band’s compositions are on these tracks.

Keeping things fresh, track 4, “Wolves,” softens things up a little with phased-out vocal tracks and boasts some inventive lead work that really ties the ambitious song together. Even a simple acoustic song gets the sophisticated, orchestral treatment of the album’s rockier songs.

The band chemistry is through the roof. It can’t hurt that, for this album, they’ve picked up a new bandmate in local musical wonder Ilia Nicoll. She and the band’s frontman Chris Picco had been playing music together for years when Chris asked her to be a guest on the new album.

“We had such a blast in the studio,” she says, “that when they asked me to join the band, and told me they wanted me to play electric guitar, I said yes!” The two toured together in 2013 to promote Chris’s solo album, The Beach.

“From that experience I knew that Ilia was a great musician who always brought creativity and positivity to the table,” Picco says. “Although she may have started as a guest on Elements, it wasn’t long until her sound helped shape the album into what we feel is our most adventurous and fully realized work yet.”

Fittingly, the two come together quite wonderfully in a country duet to close the album with “Walk Straight.” No two bones about it: Elements is a serious contender for local album of the year to date.

Note! The band are shooting a new video this weekend and need your help as extras: details here.